For my entire life leading up to college, I had been extremely active in the Episcopal Church and outward about my Christian identity. My faith had wavered as I questioned the line between what is known to be true and what I was told to believe is true even though it is not scientifically possible. I have come to know that both religion and science can and do coexist. Without one, there is not the other. With that foundation, I am able to keep moving in both my spiritual life and my STEM education. Unsurprisingly, I still am figuring out my beliefs, questioning everything, and finding God in new places. One of those new places was here at Olin.
In my first semester, I knew of two people who were outwardly religious (not just Christian). Thus, I kept my faith hidden and took a break from regularly attending church, singing in the choir, and bible study. By the end of December, I was longing for a faith community again which, by asking a few people, I found in the Olin Christian Fellowship group (OCF). Here, I found a group of 15+ students actively meeting for prayer and bible study. We are sometimes even joined by one of our hall directors who is active in their own Christian community outside of Olin. I was welcomed in with open arms, and I started to let God in again. A few weeks into this semester, I was once again shocked when I heard that a few of our professors attend church, and I started attending church with one of them. I learned through conversation with them that there are over 10 faculty and staff who are actively part of Christian communities.
While religion is not talked about at Olin and seems to me to be rather taboo, it is ever-present and growing. Oliners are a group of people who know science and engineering are important, and when used correctly, can make the world a better place. I want to make it clear that being religious does not contradict those beliefs. I wrote this article with no intention of trying to convince anyone to join OCF or to share my faith. I write this to let you know that OCF exists, various other religious groups at Olin exist, and religious people at Olin exist. Religion and Olin can and do coexist. If you ever do find yourself interested in learning about Christianity, please come talk to me or join the OCF discord. We meet every Wednesday from 6:30-7:30 in the Jam Room and have morning prayer at 7 am in Nate Hutcherson’s apartment every Tuesday. All are welcome, with no exceptions.